2014 Kia Forte Sedan - Rating Details


A
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested 2014 Kia Forte EX Sedan (2.0L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic) Driven On 2/26/2013 Ratings Summary Kia made huge strides with the new Forte. Not only is it far better-looking than the previous generation, but the harsh suspension, road noise and abrupt throttle delivery have been eliminated. The new engine makes it the class hot-rod, while still returning excellent fuel mileage.
A
Performance With its 173-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic, the Forte is quicker to 60 mph than anything in the compact class. Handling and braking are slightly above average, and we like that you can adjust the steering's assist.
Acceleration
A
While 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds might not seem overly quick, the Forte EX is in fact the class hot-rod. Slight vibration over 5,000 rpm. 6-speed automatic defines silky-smooth.
Braking
A
Brakes are nice and linear around town in normal driving, feel plenty powerful for the Forte's weight. Panic stops got slightly longer, but car tracked nice and straight.
Steering
A
Standard Flex Steer on the EX allows you to adjust steering between Normal, Sport and Comfort. Sport is more weighty. Some preferred that, others thought Normal was perfect.
Handling
B
With a well-tuned suspension and precise steering, the Forte can be driven with enthusiasm. It remains stable, even over bumps that should upset the twist-beam rear suspension.
Driveability
A
Throttle delivery can be ever-so-slightly abrupt. Transmission is very smart about holding gears, didn't get shifty on the climb out of Camarillo. Upshifts are near-imperceptible.
B
Comfort The new Forte EX is a quiet and comfortable compact. The suspension is never harsh and it's fairly quiet inside, although there is more tire noise than expected. The rear seat is particularly comfortable for the segment.
Seating Comfort
A
The well-padded seats are comfortable, but not what you'd call plush. Driver's seat has optional cooling. Door armrests have soft padding. Rear seatbacks are at the perfect rake.
Ride Comfort
B
The ride is supremely plush and the suspension soaks up almost all bumps with ease.
Quietness
B
Almost zero wind noise. You can hear the 4-cylinder only a small amount at highway speeds, but it makes a bit of racket over 5,000 rpm. Tires are on the noisy side.
A
Interior Kia is getting very good at interiors. The Forte's is more simply styled than the Ford Focus, but it's also more user-friendly. There are plenty of storage bins, and the trunk is near tops for the class in cu-ft and has a wide opening.
Ergonomics
A
We like the driver-canted center stack. Buttons have a quality soft-touch feel. Stereo volume/tuning knobs could use better detents. Navigation gives current speed limit. Handy.
Ingress/Egress
A
Easy to get in/out of the front seats. Have to duck a bit to get into the rear seat. Rear doors open wide but entry space is small, can hit your foot on the back of front seat.
Space/Room
B
Front head room could be tight for those long of torso. Not a ton of elbow room front or rear. But rear seat is surprisingly spacious, especially considering the sloping roofline.
Visibility
B
Narrow pillars, but front ones are long due to sloping windshield, making it hard to look through turns. Sloping roof cuts the height of rear side windows. Back window is large.
Cargo/Storage
A
Center console cupholders need anti-tip. Large front bin. Center armrest bin is deep, but not easy to access. 14.9 cu-ft trunk has wide opening, rear seats fold down.
A
Value Kia used to be about a low point of entry and a long warranty. But these days it's also about styling, performance and tech features. The Forte LX starts at $15,900, but the EX begins at $19,400. Add in options and it can get expensive.
Build Quality (vs. $)
A
Buttons and controls have a damped feel to them, quality plastics. Even the fake carbon-fiber dash trim feels nice. But the way the center armrest adjusts back and forth is cheap.
Features(vs. $)
B
At its $19,400 base price, plus $800 destination, the Forte EX comes with power mirrors, Bluetooth, USB and Aux-in jacks, UVO with eServices, cruise control and Flex Steer.
Cost
B
With 17-inch alloy wheels, and the Premium and Tech packages, our test car was $25,610. That includes nav, sunroof and ventilated driver's seat. But floormats are still optional!
MPG
A
EPA rates the Forte EX at 24 city/36 highway/28 mpg combined. We averaged 26.0 mpg overall. But we were impressed with the 31.7 mpg the Forte achieved on our Edmunds drive route.
Warranty
A
The Forte's 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty and 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty tie Hyundai for industry bests.
Ownership
A
Roadside assistance is covered for 5 years/60,000 miles, which the Ford Focus matches. Most don't. Kia doesn't offer a free maintenance program.
B
Fun To Drive The Ford Focus and Mazda3 are certainly more entertaining through curves than the Forte. But this little Kia holds its own, and trumps them both with its superior acceleration.
Driving Experience
A
The keys to the Forte's driving experience are its willing four-cylinder, super-smooth automatic and adjustable steering. Plus its well-thought-out interior and electronics.
Personality
B
This car gets the job done of transporting you around in quiet and comfort, with a little zip, but there's not much else to excite here.
ADVERTISEMENT

Research Models

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Kia Forte Sedan in VA is:

$155 per month*
* Explanation
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT